The 5th Wave – Rick Yancy

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5th

Taking a break from dystopian and reading my first alien invasion book.  The first in the series, this picks up after the 4th alien invasion.  Humans cannot trust one another since the aliens now look like humans – that is the “5th wave” of alien attacks (shout out to Battlestar Gallactica), and Cassie is on her own, with her M16 quite naturally.

“How do you get rid of the human race? Get rid of their humanity” – that is the world that now exists.  Aliens have attacked mankind in four different waves at the beginning of the book – from everything to a loss of power, climate caused deaths, to the “Red Death” illness that kills you from the inside out in a bloody mess.  The 4th wave knocking out 97% of what was left of the human race.  The full history of the first four waves is spread out in the book so the reader doesn’t experience the end of mankind chronologically.  Instead, we are with Cassie, who is alone and trying to survive.  She tells us in flashback chapters how the world has been attacked, from the first efforts the government made to the Mother Ship hoping for a peaceful encounter.  No such luck.  Throughout the story, “The Others” want humans gone and their method is fast, intelligent, and successful for the most part.

The book alternates between Cassie trying to survive alone, with Alien drones attacking her, and Ben, a classmate of Cassie’s who was infected in the 3rd wave, but survives and is working with the military to try and save mankind…. or is he?  As Cassie, Ben, and others learn the identity of the aliens, life becomes more terrifying and confusing.  There’s a brief little love story as Cassie is rescued by a farm boy…. or is he?

This story is dark from the beginning and fast paced.  Throw in it, a five-year old Sam on his own, scared at “Camp Haven”; children becoming soldiers; and people being shot at close range.  Yancy does a great job of making you wonder who are the aliens and who are the humans as new characters are introduced and old ones return.

Long and very detailed, very action driven, and currently filming – bound to be popular once the movie comes out.

Sequel: The Infinite Sea

14+

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